Grieving The Loss Of A Pet

The loss of a beloved pal can be a devastating event. Whether the passing of a pet is an anticipated event due to illness, or unexpected due to an accident, it can have a profound effect on your life.

To many of us, pets are not just pets. They are our faithful companions. Friends who love without reserve. Our very own welcome home committee. They are our fishing buddies, snuggle friends, frisbee partners. Their presence is woven into the very fabric of our lives. It’s no wonder we feel their loss so strongly after they are gone.

For some, the hurt can be even greater. Children, the elderly and the handicapped sometimes have a more difficult time coping with this type of loss.

Children and elderly are more likely to think of their pet as their best pal and often a dog will be more than just a companion for a handicapped individual. He may be his eyes, ears and even hands. These types of relationships form a very strong bond between human and animal.

People may brush off the pain of your loss with comments like, “it was just a dog” or “you can get another one”. Surrounding yourself with friends who understand your grief will assist the healing process.

Seek help if you need assistance getting past the loss of your lifelong pal. The Tampa Bay community has many resources to help you cope and interact with other people who know what you are going through.

The Hillsborough Animal Health Foundation has a support group. Their goal is to help ease the stress, anxiety and grief that comes with losing a pet. They offer phone counseling, one on one counseling and group meetings. More information can be found on their website.

The Tampa Bay Area Pet Loss Support Group offers group meetings once a month. Visit for more information.

If a support group is not the right choice for you, there are things that you can do at home to help you overcome your loss. Memorializing your pet may give you closure. Have a picture framed and placed prominently in your home. A memorial can be placed at one of the pet cemeteries in the Tampa Bay area.

With time and support your grief will lessen and you will be left with happy memories of your forever friend.